How to Enforce Your Custody Rights Across State Lines

  • By:admin

What happens when you have a court order granting you certain custody or visitation rights but your former spouse has fled the state with your child?  When you are faced with this situation, it is possible to enforce the out-of-state order but it largely depends on the law of the state where your former spouse currently resides.

In California, if you want to enforce an out-of-state custody order, you must first register this order with the Court.  To register, you can send a letter requesting registration and the following documents to the appropriate California court:

  1. Two copies, one certified, of the court judgment you are seeking to register;
  2. A statement under penalty of perjury that, to the best of your knowledge and belief, the subject custody order has not been modified.
  3. Your name and address and the name and address of any person who has been awarded custody or visitation in the subject custody order.

Upon receipt of your request, the Court will notify the parent against whom you seek to enforce the judgment that he or she has the right to request a hearing to contest the validity of the out-of-state custody order. If no hearing request is received from the responding parent within a certain number of days, the Court will grant your request and confirm the registration of the order.

Along with the request for registration, you can also file a petition to enforce the custody order.  The purpose of registering a custody order is to give the out-of-state custody order legal recognition in the state of California.  However, in order to obtain physical custody of your child pursuant to the custody order, this can only be done through the filing of a petition for enforcement.  The petition must be verified (i.e., signed under the penalty of perjury by you) and must include various required information such as the present address of the child and the person with physical custody of the child, a request for the immediate physical custody of the child and the date and place where the custody order has been registered and confirmed (if custody order is already registered). Upon receiving your petition, the court will issue an order directing your former spouse to appear at a hearing on the matter.

The registration and enforcement of an out of state order is a complex matter that should not be attempted without some legal knowledge.  Do not let your former spouse violate court orders! Our office can help you quickly register and enforce an out-of-state custody order to get your child back.

****The opinion above is not intended to be legal advice and absolutely does not create
any attorney-client relationship between its author and the readers. Please consult an attorney for information or advice specific to your legal issue.****

Regal Law Office

21151 S. Western Ave. Suite 263A

Torrance, CA 90501


Posted in: Civil Litigation, Family Law, Law, Uncategorized